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Domestic violence survivors fight sluggish economy

COLDWATER (WTVB) - A down economy and recent state policy changes have combined to produce special challenges for some of Michigan's most vulnerable citizens: survivors of domestic violence. They aren't just trapped in a violent situation, but sometimes economically as well.  

One way you can lend assistance and have fun at the same time is by taking part in the Branch County Coalition against Domestic Violence 5th Annual Golf Ball Drop, a Coalition fundraiser happening today at the Golf Club of Coldwater beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Bring the kids to watch the balls fall from a helicopter in the sky as the lucky winners will take home either $1000, $500 or $250.  Kids can go around and pick up the balls after and get a goodie bag for helping out. Food will be available with a portion of the proceeds going to the local Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Returning to the issues facing survivors of domestic violence, Sarah Gonzalez Bocinski, manager of the economic security for survivors project for Wider Opportunities for Women or WOW, told the MIRS news agency that the economic pieces of the impacts of abuse are very, very prevalent, but not highly recognized by the public. According to the national group's research, 25 percent of survivors were asked to resign or were fired from their jobs because of stalking. In addition, 74 percent of survivors stayed with an abuser longer due to financial issues, and survivors collectively lose 8 million days of paid work annually. The state's unemployment rate, meanwhile, is hovering at 8.8 percent , with the Michigan number the fifth highest in the nation.